Well Thanksgiving is finally over so it is time to decorate for the holidays. I shared about how I decorated my home in 2016, but I wanted to share more about my style and system here again for 2018. My husband and I both love holiday decorating and it is for sure a family affair for us, but we have also been taking the time in recent years to focus on how to decorate and make our home festive without too much effort, space, or time. In this tour I’ll share tips on how to decorate in a way that is simple and enjoyable without being a burden or making your home look cluttered.
I love having the Christmas tree in front of a window facing the street. Growing up, we did not have a front window that worked for a tree and I always loved driving by homes with visible trees. Before we even made an offer on our home I knew where our tree would go and we use that spot every year. The tree is at the corner of two windows so it has lots of street visibility to spread lots of holiday cheer. If you don’t have a spot by the window, no need to fear, it is just something I have always enjoyed. Of course, if you are in the market for a new home, do consider tree placement if that is important to you. Not having a great place for a tree can be super annoying as it leads to the tree aways being in the way and that can start to take some of the joy out of the season.
We decorate our tree with family ornaments and some fillers. I know trendy trees are always in, but I am not in the market to spend money on pieces that hold not sentimental value and that I will discard after only a few years. This Library of Congress ornament was purchased after we were engaged in their lobby. It is for sure one of my favorites.
If you don’t have family ornaments yet consider asking parents or grandparents if they have some they could hand down to you. We love buying ornaments while traveling and now have special decorations commemorating our engagement, anniversary, and other special events. This makes our decorating time extra special as we get to reminisce on these events in our lives while we decorate. Oh, and yes, our tree skirt is just an old tablecloth. If you need a skirt check your linen closet. No need to spend money on a fancy one, you probably have something that can be used and then put back. One less thing to store!
Our decorating tradition is after Thanksgiving, once the guests have left, we have a few drinks and put up the tree. This is special to both of us and something we always do together. As I mentioned before, it is a time to remember the past, celebrate our time together, and get excited for the season ahead of us. Charlie always plays his christmas playlist, and when it is cool enough out we light the fireplace. Afterwards you can usually find us cuddled on the sofa in our holiday pajamas. This is truly one of my favorite parts of the season.
This year I did go a little further and purchased a small flocked tree for our bedroom. I wanted to add a little bit of holiday twinkle to that space, and this tree was perfect. I added some inexpensive decorations from Amazon and the Dollar Tree and I love how it turned out. Will I keep this tree next year? I don’t know. What I do know is that I will only put it up if I have the time, energy, and space. When decorating becomes work then it is just not worth it.
We have some household decorations which we put out here and there throughout the house. Some of these are heirloom pieces like Charlie’s nutcrackers and some are fun finds. I always like to take a moment when deciding what to put out to think about items that match the feel of the space and are not to distracting. Although I enjoy decor, in the end I still want out home to have a cohesive, relaxing feel. Our goal is for decor to be an accent and not an intrusion. If decorations are to loud we move them or rehome them. Heirloom decorations can be held on to for future use but not put out if needed. I also like to remember that we don’t have to keep everything. Just because a former coworker in 2007 gave us an item does not mean it needs to be on your tree or in your home. Feel free to take a photo and then donate it for someone else to enjoy. (This is totally one of the Marie Kondo tips I love.)
My grandmother gifted her Christmas Village one year. I was so excited to put it up the following year, but it was so much stuff that it ended up being so much work for me. There was so much stuff to go through that it was just overwhelming. I ended up getting rid of most of the “stuff” and just kept the main kit. My grandmother had wanted to get rid of the village, and nobody else wanted it, so I was not offending anyone by cutting dow the collection some. Now I have a nice, easy to store set that I can use or hold on to. We did not put it out this year, but I do intend to keep it for future use.
When decorating shelves I love to add just a few holiday elements to our usual decor. This add color and a pop without removing all my things. I did this with our coffee bar shelf (below) as well as in our dining room (above).
Any nicknacks that I replace with holiday decor are placed in one of our decoration tubs. This way when we go to put everything away we will find our other things. Speaking of storage, when we put everything aways for the season I like to take a few minute to divide the “holiday stuff” by type so that next year I can easily find what I need. I have a tub for main tree ornaments, gifting supplies, home decor, party supplies, and extras. This way I can go in and find what I need without opening everything.
We do decorate the exterior of our home each year. We just add a simple strand of white LED c9 lights which give our home a classic look. Our personal rule for this, like everything else, is that it only goes up if we have the time and energy. Right now all our decorating work fits in to one day and we enjoy it. Take down is just as easy. I never want to add so much “stuff” that it takes days to remove. It is just not worth it to me.
How do you handle decorating for the holidays? Do you go all out or keep it simple?